Today’s real wedding is a fab one, and it’s brought to you by one of my favourites photographers, the quite frankly amazing Assassynation. I was lucky enough to meet Sassy last week at the Bristol tweet up, and I have to say she is LOVELY!!!!! we got on really well and I can not wait for our photo shoot on 5th March (Click here for more details)
I will be featuring a Q&A with Sassy tomorrow, so do pop back to find out more about this lovely lady.
This wedding is of Jonny and Elizabeth who got married on Saturday November 20th 2010 at Dragon Hall in Norwich and I love it! I love the relaxed nature of the ceremony and the reception, I love the modern glass building, the paper pom poms and the lanterns, I LOVE the cake table…how amazing is that, the moustaches and of course I love the photography!!!
Jonnyand Elizabeth were kind enough to answer some questions for me:
What made you pick your venue?
We chose Dragon Hall because it could accommodate 100 guests for a civil ceremony! It was a purely practical choice – it was just fabulous that it turned out to be an amazing venue. They let us do almost anything we liked within reason. Dragon Hall was built in 1430 & it utterly stunning. The restrictions of what we could hang & place about the building forced us to become much more creative in decorating it – & I’m so glad we rose to the challenge! the reception was at Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts We chose SCVA because we love it! I studied at UEA where SCVA is based. It is crammed with the entire private art collection of Robert & Lisa Sainsbury & the work includes Picassos, Moores, Epstein, Bacon & Degas. In addition, the building was designed by Lord Foster & the attention to detail is amazing. We collect Eames chairs & when we saw the restaurant was full of them – we knew we had to have our wedding there.
Another reason we chose it was that it came withDavid Smith – a fantastic even planner. We would not have had the day we did without David. SCVA is very restrictive – no candles, balloons, party-poppers, confetti etc etc… but it didn’t matter. The architecture of the building is so stark & pure that you don’tNEED to decorate it – or even want to. We just fell in love with it.
Where was your dress from and what made you choose it?
Fontaines by Suzanne Neville. I ordered the dress from the brilliant Margaret at Pure Brides, Norwich Margaret was awesome & although she had to bully me into the dress, she knew what she was doing. I loved wearing it. I loved the structure. I had tried on 42 dresses. The first dress was Fontaines & all the dresses in between didn’t feel the same for me.
I went everywhere & tried on a huge selection of dresses. Everything from short 50s inspired styles to vintage dresses to very modern styles. In the end, Margaret phoned me to see if id found a dress. I said no, & she suggested I come back & see her. I’m so glad i did. I ordered my dress there & then! The dress was beautiful, the craftsmanship & the detailing was breathtaking. Worth every penny. It also had a jacket made by Jane Kenning. Jane specialises in corsetry & used to make costumes at Madame Tussauds! Her love of dresses is self-evident. I wore a pair of diamonds studs that Jonny had given to me the night before as a wedding gift.
Hair was by Kelly at Charisma of Norwich, make up by Lou at Flawless.
Jonny’ssuit was from Paul Smith and his Shirt was from TM Lewin
Who was your florist?
My best friend Libbydid our flowers Every wedding I’ve ever seen leave Libby’s shop has been nothing short of breathtaking, so I knew she & her team (Manager Tracey, with Rachel, Shelly, Kitty, Mel, Emily, Emma & Gaye) would create something amazing.
I knew from the start that I didn’t want a bouquet – lots of people told me that I had to have one, but I knew what I wanted & it certainly wasn’t a bouquet! Libby made me a beautiful bracelet/wrist corsage of orchids, pearls, ribbon, stephanotis & greenery. She then made a 4 foot long trailing garland of the same flowers & pearls, that could clip to my bracelet. I have never seen anything like it. It was spectacular.
For the ceremony we opted for no flowers, just a hundred or so candles in storm lanterns & vintage sherry glasses.
For the reception we had tall (over 1.5 meter) arrangements on each table. The very tall vases were filled with up lighters& gel with petals suspended in them. Each vase was topped with a giant ball of greenery with lights threaded through it. They looked amazing & I keep wishing I could go back.
Who did supplied your food?
SCVA hired in chefs from the Grosvenor Hotel – the food was epic!
We had 2 bands… Baron of Beef (who i went to school with) played before, during & after the ceremony & at the drinks reception. They were brilliant & funny but didn’t have time to don their lederhosen in the end! They played lots of medleys
I like London cabs… so I stalked the Norwich train station taxi rank until I saw a beautiful Hackney Fairway in pristine condition. Then I asked the driver & owner – Jethro – if he’d take me to my wedding, he agreed.
What sort of thing did you do to decorate the venue?
For dragon hall I made 321 tissue-paper pom poms! I had a lot of help from friends & the day before the wedding 10 of us spent 5 hours fluffing them up & hanging them. It was time-consuming & I hated the sight of pom poms after that, but the next day they looked so spectacular. I’m so glad I persevered with them, even when the thought of making over 300 sometimes made me cry!
Did you walk down the aisle to a particular song?
Carl & Stu (Baron of Beef) played Best day of my life by Bright Eyes.
Tell us about the amazing cakes!
My great friend Mel, my mum & myself made our cakes. My mum wasn’t totally on board with this until the last few hours I don’t think! She kept saying I know a lovely baker…. but I knew they had to be home made. Mel made a 3 tier giant Victoria sponge that comprised of 9 cakes! It was the centre piece of the cake table. In total we had:
Victoria sponge – dusted with icing sugar & berries
Lemon Bundt – with sugar-paper doilies
Pear & raspberry cake with white chocolate ganache
vanilla cake with dark chocolate ganache
red velvet bundt with cream cheese frosting
What inspired you to style your wedding the way you did?
My friend Mel & I stalked blogs like Style Me Pretty obsessively, & my husband is a graphic/web designer so he had a very clear view of what he wanted to the day to encompass. He used the word brand a lot!!
Our main inspiration was our venues – Jonny used the stunningly stark exterior of SCVA to create a brand for the wedding – tying together invitations, RSVPs, menus, thank-you cards, napkins, match books, the ales we served, the chairs we used (Vitra by Eames which we collect anyway), etc etc. It was cohesive without being OTT & too matchy-matchy. We used a website designed & built by Jonny to inform guests of everything We wanted out wedding to be modern, non-traditional & totally ours. I feel we achieved that by being clear on what we wanted.
What advice would you give to other couples planning their wedding?
1. Think outside the box – almost NOTHING is impossible. We had a quite a few glitches with SCVA as they are not used to hosting wedding receptions. There was a LONG list of what we couldn’t do, so we had to get creative with what we COULD do.
2. Get good wedding insurance. Cheap does not = good.
3. Get everything in writing – even if you have a friendly chat with a vendor – follow t up with an email & ask them to confirm what you discussed. This alone saved us many hundreds when people began forgetting what they had agreed to.
4. Don’t be afraid to go higher up the chain of command – if you aren’t getting anywhere with a particular item & you really want it – ask their boss, or their bosses boss – odds are you’ll get it.
5. get 2 bottles of water for your wedding car for after the ceremony – you’ll need it!
6. Choose your Attendants maybe 2 months before the wedding. Id seen too many friends fall out over what is supposed to be lots of fun. I asked Fi & Fran a few weeks before the wedding
7. Delegate things to people you trust. On the day, we had Josie & Antony on the care with lists, timelines & mobile phones. Thanks to them we had a fabulous day.
8. Make sure your venue manager is on the ball. Our venue contracted out to David Smith of Norwich after staffing issues – he made sure our reception was perfect.
9. Give the best man £100 to chuck drunk guests into cabs!!
10. Slip away for a few minutes alone, just you & your new husband.
It is worth it & something I’m so glad we did.
11. Don’t canvass for too many opinions. Find what you want & go out & get it. Too many opinions can be confusing. Only you & your fiance know what you want – & that’s all that matters!
What were your thoughts on Sassy?
Sassy was awesome, we only met her on the day but she was brilliant & knew exactly what we wanted. Wed spoken a few times on the phone, but I actually met her as I was getting out of the wedding car!
You can trust this woman 100%, she totally gets what you are after.
A massive thank you to Sassy for sharing this gorgeous wedding with us, and also a huge thank you to Elizabeth for giving me so much information about her wedding. I truelly LOVE this wedding, and so great to see a couple doing it there way!